Friday, February 27, 2009

Totally Tiles!


Happy Saturday stampers! I've got a wonderful day ahead with family time in the morning and evening and a big stamp camp in between!
What could be better than that?


I realized the other day that I'd not posted these stamped tiles here yet and I made them back before Christmas - so I guess it's about time you got to see them!


I recieved a stamped tile as a gift from my SU! demo buddy Denise Johnson back in the early fall and just loved it. I loved it even more when she told me how easy it was to create so I included the large "Live, Laugh and Love" tile in my Christmas Gifts class. These were such a hit I decided to make some as Christmas gifts for family and friends and created some coaster sets as well. The coaster sets are actually my favorite and all of Emma's teachers liked them a Lot!


The blank tiles came from Lowes and they are the glazed ones, not the tumbled tiles. They do not soak up water. After I washed them off, I used Craft Inks and various stamps to create the images. They were coated with Glassy Glaze Embossing Powder and baked in the oven to melt the powder. Once they cooled off, I put cork feet on the back side and they were ready to use!


The large Trivet Tile in the back of the photo used the Baroque Motifs stamp set with a greeting from the On Your Birthday stamp set. It's stamped with Regal Rose, Old Olive and Bravo Burgundy Craft ink. The coaster in front of it uses the same stamps, but with Not Quite Navy and Copper Encore Craft ink. The coaster set to the left uses the Bella Toile background stamp and Basic Black Craft ink. I made sets of these with the same stamp but using Night of Navy, Old Olive and Bravo Burgundy Craft inks for Emma's teachers. They all turned out really lovely and the stamp looks different in each color.

Lastly, the coaster in the right of the photo is the Tres Chic background stamp and Basic Black Craft ink. I just love this Black on White look for these words - very "in" these days.


Thanks for stopping by today and everyday you check in on me! I love to hear from you and know that you find something here to inspire you or to bring you joy.


Stamped Blessings,

~~Robin

Blogger's Challenge #88 - Alter It!


Aren't these little cans stinkin' adorable? It was so hard to cover up their cuteness for this week's challenge, but boy, I sure did! My Mom gave me both sets of the empty tins last weekend when we went for a visit. She "challenged" me to make something out of them. Well, never one to resist a good challenge, I knew right away what I was going to do.



In my Stampin' Studio, I have a Baker's Rack that holds my NEW Keurig one cup coffee pot. OMG, I love that thing! And so do my stamp campers - they have figured out all the cup sizes and have fun choosing their coffee, tea or cocoa. And I love the clean up - none! Anyway, I don't like how all the coffee bar sugars are just stuffed into a little ceramic pot on the baker's rack so I thought these little containers would be perfect to hold the individual packets of artificial sweetners.



So, I got out my stash of Designer Series Paper and used some Washington Apple and Old Olive Patterns to cover the 3 tins. I chose the colors/patterns based on the original color of the tins were since I wasn't covering the whole things.



The little labels are Whisper White cardstock that I ran through my printer and then I punched them out with the 1 1/4" Circle Punch. Each label has a Bashful Blue bloom from the Botanical Blooms stamp set stamped over the word for a little extra detail. The labels were attached to the back of some Hodgepodge Hardware Styled Silver frames with Mini Glue Dots. I tied them to the tins with Apricot Appeal Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon.



For the tops of the tins, I used my Wide Oval Punch and punched a coordinating piece of cardstock for each. They each got a Filigree Brad piece glued to the top with a Colored Rhinestone Brad in the center.



For the tray that the tins sit inside, I covered it first with Riding Hood Red Patterns Designer Series Paper then went around it with some So Saffron ribbon from the FREE Sale-A-Bration Ribbon Bundle. A couple of flowers from my Big Shot Birds and Blooms die and another Rhinestone Fire Circle Brad covers the ribbon seam and it was finished!



I love, love, love these little tins - they remind me of something from a 1950's styled kitchen and I can't wait to begin using them in the studio. My Mom is getting the second set for her kitchen! Love you Mom!



Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players today by clicking on the icon in my right sidebar. I'm sure they have some fun altered items to inspire you.



Please leave a comment and tell me what you think of my canister make-over! I love to hear from you!



Have a great weekend everyone!

~~Robin

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Challenging Myself



One of the things I find as a stamper is that it's easy to get into a routine by using the tried and true. You know, the same colors, same layout, same stamp set. It's an easy thing to do because we are comfy, like in our fuzzy slippers, and know that we can always create something lovely when we use the familiar things.


The problem with this is that if we do this for too long, we can lose our mojo or inspiration to try new things. I know this is the case with me. It's especially hard for me to use colors and/or stamp sets that aren't my favorites. So, last night when my daughter wanted to stamp with me a while, I decided to use up some of the random pieces sitting around the studio for once.


This card started with the Certainly Celery piece that had been run through the Big Shot last week with my Polka Dot Texturz Plate. (love those things!) Then I went into my scrap files - I keep all my cardstock that is less than a whole sheet in hanging folders in plastic file bins in my abyss, I mean the supply closet. The files are sorted by color family and I keep two colors in each file. I used my Round Tab Punch to make color tabs for each file so all I have to do is match up the scrap with the tabs to file a piece. Pretty organized, eh? Even for me!


I looked for a blue, one that I hadn't used in a while and located a half sheet of Ballet Blue that was perfect for my card base. When I put the two pieces together, I felt they needed another green so I pulled out a 1/4 sheet of Garden Green and trimmed it down my a 1/4" on two sides so it would layer with a 1/8" border.


Then I saw the Whisper White top note piece that had been a mistake at Big Shots Club last week, so I knew I could use that for my stamping. But - what stamps to use?!! I forced myself to use something that is definitely outside of my box and pulled out the Echoes of Kindness stamp set. It's FREE rubbah from the Hostess Level 2 selections, but it hasn't seen ink since I got it. Reaching for my Stampin' Write Markers in Ballet Blue, Certainly Celery and Garden Green, I colored right on the stamp and created my multicolored images that way. This piece was then sponged around with Ballet Blue Ink which I also used on the Certainly Celery texturized piece to bring out the polka dots.


I positioned and mounted all these pieces with SNAIL Adhesive the trimmed off the right side with my Paper Snips. That gorgeous ribbon is the new White Organdy ribbon in the new Idea Book and it's the first time I used it as well! Not the last, by golly - that stuff is knockout! (By the way, I have Ribbon Shares being announced in the next few days, so be sure to check back for the info!)


The greeting is stamped in Ballet Blue on Whisper White which was sponged in Certainly Celery. Mounted on to Garden Green cardstock, I used the Corner Rounder on both pieces to finish it off. This piece was then popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals and put in place on the card. I have to honestly say that I began with no plan and now have this lovely card that just makes me smile. It's like a breath of spring air. I hope you like it too and have enjoyed reading about the roundabout process I used in creating it.


Tomorrow's Friday and that means Blogger's Challenge and boy, do I have a cool project to show you! But you'll just have to come back! :)


Have a great evening and go hug the ones you love!

~~Robin

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's SO-da much fun!

This post was edited at the bottom on 2/27 to answer a couple of questions about this project!

Here I go again with the Soda Can Big Shot projects! I can't help myself - it's so cool that the Big Shot will cut through those aluminum cans (and a lot more too!)

I've actually had this idea in my head for awhile but haven't had time to really "crank" it out. Get it........"crank"........like you "crank" the handle on the Big Shot to get it to roll thru. Yep, I've lost it, no question there! Too much soda! LOL!

So, here's the deal. I sent Shannon West, my friend and also super stamp artist at SU! the Diet Coke star for her Christmas tree after seeing her Diet Coke ornaments on the tree at the November Regional Seminar. Well, her buddy Jaron Winder, another super stamp artist at SU! saw the star and was inspired to create a bracelet with soda can hearts on it for the Orlando Regional. I guess he saw the "light" from the star! Oh, I crack myself up. Yes, .....I know.....only myself, but it's a life.
Anyway, when I came back from Orlando, I had a ton of pictures from the conference that I wanted to showcase in an album and since Jaron had shown off my star, I thought that a Top Note Soda Can Album would be a great way to remember my like, 5 seconds of fame.

To create this baby, I simply cut apart (ok, my hubby cut them apart for me) several different soda cans with my Craft and Rubber Scissors. I have to thank my stamp campers for supplying me with the raw materials. They drink a LOT of soda!

The cover was die cut out of a gold Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi can and the back cover was cut from a Safeway Fruit Seltzer can. After "cranking" them out I put the cover piece back through my Big Shot and used the new Texturz large polka dot plate to give it the fun dimension.

The flowers and leaves were made with the Birds and Blooms Sizzlits, the Daisy Flower Sizzlits and the Simple Flower Embosslit. These were cut using a Sierra Mist can (green) a regular Pepsi can (blue/red) and the rest of the Caffiene free Diet Pepsi can (gold).
Once all the flowers were cut out, I placed them on the cover with Mini Glue Dots. I did use the center rhinestone from a Blue Rhinestone Circle Ice Brad for the center of the Daisy Flower.

All my inside pages were cut using regular Stampin' Up! cardstock. Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Green Galore and Tempting Turquoise. Once I had all my pages and the cover, I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch the holes in the left side. I did punch through the cover pieces first and then through the cardstock pages.

Silver book rings from Staples were added and for a little extra "hardware" I used three of the Filigree Designer Brads (just the flower parts) around the book rings.

This turned out so super cute and I'm thrilled with the results! You'll have to tell me what you think! And hey, if you own a Big Shot, YOU can make this project too! It was sooooo easy, you just have to drink a lot of soda or rummage in a recycling bin somewhere. But hey, if you are dressed nicely, you can just say you are looking for the diamond bracelet you lost. Yeah, they'll believe that! :)

Be sure to check back tomorrow and Friday for some more unique 3-D projects. I'm dying to show you, but I know you can handle only so much WOW at a time.

Love you guys!
~~Robin

The edges are not particularly sharp, the die kind of curls the edges of the can so it dulls it somewhat when it cuts through. The flowers and leaves are kind of pointy, but even with all the handling of it I had to do, I never cut myself, even paper cut style. Some one else asked me if the covers are just the metal cans and the answer is yes, I didn't mount them on chipboard or anything else. The aluminum is flimsy, however, when you use the silver inside for the outside of the project, you have to roll it up on itself to get it to straighten out so it makes the cover a lot sturdier than you would think. Hope that helps!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sale-A-Bration Blooms!



Shellie R. - this card's for you! LOL!


Yesterday, my friend and fellow demo, Shellie was here helping me cut some cardstock for a big private stamp camp this weekend and I was trying to come up with a card using the Sale-A-Bration stamp set "Botanical Blooms". After what can only be described as fits and starts, I set the stamped piece aside along with the Rose Red cardstock base and layer, too frustrated to continue. (Sorry, Jen, we are doing a different card at the camp this weekend!)


So, when I finished making my fun Blogger's Challenge project today - you'll see that one on Friday, so be sure to check back cuz it's REALLY cool - I picked up the pieces, so to speak and began again.


This time, I decided to add the saffron to lighten up the dark layers of Rose Red and Old Olive. Using another found piece from my scrap folder, I ran this So Saffron circle through my Big Shot with the Small Polka Dot Texturz plate to give it a little somthin' somethin'! Then I sponged the edges and all over the top to bring out the dots in the background. The edges of the floral images and the greeting were also sponged with So Saffron to soften them.


Using the So Saffron ribbon from the Sale-A-Bration Ribbon Bundle I tied it in a knot all the way around the card front. I just hate it when ribbon is cut off on the edges, don't you? It looks so unfinished to me. And the ribbon on the inside of the card adds a bit of color there too, so I almost always wrap it around. It uses a little bit more ribbon, but the effect is SO worth it. Ok, that's my soapbox for today - back to the card.


The greeting was created with the Say it With Scallops stamp set. Yes, I know that stamp set is meant to be used with the Scallop Square punch - but, look how cool this is! I used my Stampin' Write Markers in Old Olive and Rose Red to color directly on the words so I could use just them and punch it out with my 1" Circle Punch. The Rose Red and Old Olive layers are punched with the 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" Circle puches and layered onto Stampin' Dimensionals to pop it up above the ribbon.


So, there ya' go - I used those gorgeous stamped flowers after all and made a pretty cute card in the process. I hope you like it Shellie! And if the rest of you like it too, leave me a comment and tell me what you think - I love to hear from you! It just makes my day better!


Remember, all the products I used today can be purchased from my Stampin' Up! website at www.robinstamps4u.stampinup.net . Just click on the "SHOP NOW" button at the top right and you can find everything I listed here. The best part is that the Botanical Blooms stamp set and the Ribbon Bundle are each a FREE choice for you with a $50 order! But only until March 31st, so don't miss the boat - I mean stamps! :)


Happy Tuesday!

~~Robin

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Card for Rachel



Just who is Rachel, you ask? Well, she is my very young, very hip hairstylist and pink and black are her "thang". She is the only stylist in the salon with pink and black hair. It's her trademark - we all should have one, don't you think? Maybe I'll add purple to my hair, since that's been my favorite color lately! LOL! Ok, maybe not, but never say never, right?


Anyway, she is a rockstar when it comes to cutting my hair. Always a great cut, even if I can't always fix it right! :)


The last time I saw her, I took her this card to let her know how much I appreciated her, that is something we all need to hear from time to time!


The card is actually case of myself and the card I made for Leadership Conference shown here. I simply substituted Pink Passion and Pink Pirouette cardstock, Pink Passion ink, Pretty in Pink Taffeta Ribbon and a Pink Rhinestone Circle Brad. The stamps are the fantabulous Bella Toile Background and the "A Little Somethin'" stamp set from the Hostess Level 2 sets. Black Craft ink, Black Embossing Powder and Black Narrow Grosgrain ribbon and there you have it!


A fun, bright card for a Monday in February! C'mon Spring!

Happy Stamping,

~~Robin

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Purple Haze


That really describes the state of mind I was in after finishing all 30 of these swap cards!

Purple is not a color I work with often - don't get me wrong, I love purple - but it's just one of those colors that doesn't get pulled out much on impulse for me. My actual inspiration for this card came from two sources. The first was the cover of a Ballard Designs catalog that my friend Lissa gave me last week. It had a black and white toile decor scheme with small pops of lavender. Very fresh and clean looking. My second inspiration came from a swap card I received from my friend Jaimie. She used Orchid Opulence which I hadn't used in FOREVER! It inspired me to get my very old pack of cardstock out and USE it! Thanks Jaimie!

So, I started with a card base of Orchid Opulence folded to make a 4 1/4" by 5 1/2" card. The next layer is Elegant Eggplant trimmed at 3 7/8" x 5 1/8". This gave a greater variance so the Orchid color would be more prominent.

Inspired by the clean look of the catalog cover, I used Whisper White for my top layer, stamping on a portion of it with the bold flowers from the Garden Greetings stamp set. The large flower is stamped in Orchid Opulence, the medium in Elegant Eggplant and the small in Basic Gray. Basic Black was too stark. When stamping, I masked off a portion of the cardstock with scrap paper so it would remain white. Another detail I added, which is impossible to see in this photo, is the embossed Polka Dots on the Whisper White layer. I used my new Big Shot Texturz Plates to create the embossing.

All of the flowers received Purple Fine Cosmo Glitter for their centers and then both layers were mounted together with Elegant Eggplant Narrow Grosgrain wrapped around the stamped line.

To create the greeting, I stamped "Friends" in Elegant Eggplant on Whisper White, then punched it out with my Small Oval Punch. This was mounted on a Large Oval Punch of Elegant Eggplant and a Square Rhinestone Ice Brad in PURPLE was added. Dimensionals were placed on the back of the greeting and it was mounted on yet another layer of Orchid Opulence punched out with my Wide Oval Punch. More Dimensionals were added and it was mounted to the card front.

So, now all the swaps are in the mail, sending stamped happiness to my demonstrator friends across the US! I hope they like this card and I hope you do too. Maybe it's inspired you to get out a color you rarely work with and USE it! If so, send me a picture of your creation! I'd love to know how you are inspired!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

~~Robin

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #87 - Inspiration Piece


Happy Friday stampers! It's that time again - Blogger's Challenge!

I love how being in this group forces me to get out of my stamping box and create in a whole new way. This week was really a challenge for me, not because I didn't have an idea, but I kept wanting to add more to the final piece and it really just stands alone so well. Sometimes its just hard to say "Step AWAY from the card!" LOL!

The first picture is of our challenge inspiration piece. We had to interpret this photo in our project.

The next photo is of my final card in normal light and the last photo shows it with some natural sunlight from my family room so the golden shimmer comes through. It didn't photograph well from my studio.

I started with the top layer and chose Cameo Coral. That's a color I've been using a lot lately and honestly, I've probably not touched it in over a year!

Next, I stamped the Baroque background stamp in Ruby Red Craft ink on the cardstock. Love, love this stamp! It's so elegant! To do the embossing, I mixed a little bit of Clear Embossing Powder with some Gold Embossing Powder so it would have the shimmer that is in the inspiration piece.

After embossing with my Heat Tool, I layered this piece onto Riding Hood Red, then Brushed Gold and lastly, Ruby Red for the card itself.

And then I tried, oh so hard, to add ribbon, brads, embossed hardware, an embossed greeting in multi layers, but it all just took away from the Wow factor of that golden shimmer. So, I just left it as is and I'm really happy with the result. Please be sure to leave me a comment and tell me if you agree or if you would have done something differently! I love to hear from you!

Also check out the other Blogger's Challenge Players to see what they have interpreted from the photo. They are all sure to inspire you. The link is in my right sidebar.

Happy Stamping everyone! I'll be back tomorrow with the swap card I've been working on this week!
~~Robin

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Triple Panel Calendar

I know, it's FEBRUARY! Yes, I should have posted this earlier but, honestly, I just forgot! Call it stamper's senility - but there you have it. At least I'm sharing NOW! :) Do you still love me?

Actually, if you had a copy of the Holiday Mini Catalog, you know that this is just my version of the Calendar Kit that was in that book. I used the same On Board Triple Clipboard for my project, but I took a lot of liberties with my design.

The left panel is meant to be a seasonal "scrapbook page" or photo mat. There are four of them included with the calendar and I used the pocket on the back of the clipboard to hold the extras when they aren't on display.

The middle section has the twelve calendar pages there, trimmed shorter to fit the board and then stamped to make them cute!


The right panel is the message center. I created a panel with post it notes and a pen for quick and easy notes anywhere this is displayed.

Our color palette was taken directly from the kit - no sense reinventing the wheel! We used Old Olive, Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie and Bashful Blue. The stamp set is one of my new favs Best Wishes and More.

Believe it or not, I didn't BUY that stamp set from the catalog because I didn't like it so much at first! BUT, Stampin' Up! gave it to us at the November Regional in Virginia Beach and now that I own it and use it - I LOVE it! Thanks Stampin' Up!

That's just one of the many ways Stampin' Up! treats it's demonstrators in a special way. It's great to be part of a company that values its people - especially in these times. I've had the pleasure of welcoming 3 new team members to my stamping group in the last two weeks! Welcome Joan, Bengy and Beth! I'm so glad to have you on my team and I KNOW you will love Stampin' Up!

If you want to know more about being part of my fabulous team of stampers - let me know. Or you can click on the Join My Team link in the right sidebar on my blog. There is a wonderful special on our demonstrator kit right now - there is no better time than now to try us out. It would be great fun to have you on my team!

Happy Thursday!
~~Robin

Stamper's Showcase Again!



Ya know, I don't play the lottery, but if I did, THIS would be the day to buy a ticket! LOL!


Amazing - for two days in a row, I have a card on Stamper's Showcase! Thanks so much Stampin' Up! for liking my work - I'm so happy you do!


You guys saw this one last week before I sent it out for my swap, so I'll spare you the details this time. Just had to share my good news!


I'll have another post for you in a little bit. I discovered that I never shared my triple clipboard calendar project with you, so you get to see the pics of that today!


Happy Thursday!

~~Robin

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stamper's Showcase!


How fun is this? One of my cards has appeared on Stampers Showcase today!
I created this card for a recent swap Iwas in and mailed one in to Stampin' Up! as well. Each day, 6 different card and project samples are chosen from the thousands of submissions they recieve and are highlighted on the Stampers Showcase. It's really an honor to have your work shown there and I'm so grateful that they liked it enough to post it!
This card uses the Botanical Blooms stamp set which is one of the FREE stamp sets during Sale-A-Bration! I also used the Delicate Dots Designer Series Paper, another FREE choice for you! The greeting comes from Garden Greetings - one of my new favorite stamp sets!
My colors are Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Certainly Celery and Shimmer White. It's hard to see the shimmer in this scan of my card, but it's there!
I used the Scallop Edge punch and the Corner Rounder as well as the Soft Subtles Brads. The edges of the Shimmer White were sponged in Certainly Celery.
I hope you like it too!
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
~~Robin

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wow, I feel like Sally Field!





You like me, you really like me!


Thanks to my Blogger's Challenge buddy, Tangii Crain, I have earned another blog award! This is so cool! Nothing beats being told you do good work by a peer! Thanks so much Tangii. (You can view her blog here!)


Now I get to choose some of my blogging friends to pass this on to. In no particular order, here are a few I visit for inspiration:


1) Caroline LeBel - http://www.craftincaro.ca/


2) Lynn Weiss - http://lwdesigns.blogspot.com/


3) Selene Kempton - http://stampinfunwithselene.blogspot.com/

4) Kelly Taylor - http://www.stamppink.blogspot.com/

Happy President's Day everyone!

~~ Robin

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sports Heroes







We are hearing a lot these days about the world of sports and it's heroes. And most of it, at least from my perspective is not very flattering. An Olympic hero has his reputation tarnished with illegal drugs, multiple baseball heroes caught up in a drug use scandal, football players arrested on charges from drugs to alcohol to domestic abuse. I personally find it very sad that these unquestionably amazing and talented athletes choose, yes, I said choose, to tarnish their reputations, damage their teams and in some cases throw their lives away when they've so obviously been given such great gifts. I have no choice but to question personally how these icons can be considered heroes and role models when they so publicly violate our trust and respect. For a sports fan like myself, this has been very disheartening and disturbing to watch unfold.

However, two weeks ago, much of my faith in what a true sports hero can be was restored. As most of you who read my blog and know me personally are aware, my daughter Emma skates on a Synchronized Skating team for the National Blades organization. Two weeks ago, her team was involved in a competition in Morristown, NJ. Not just any competition, for them, at their ages (10 - 14) and level, it was their highest goal - akin to a national championship for the winner.

Two days of competition, the first, the Semi-Final round where the top 6 teams from each flight of 12 would advance to the Finals and the medal round. There was a team competing that first day that had everything going for them. They had recently medaled in their toughest competition to date and to say that the buzz in the arena was that they were the team to beat would be an understatement. Their practice ice had gone beautifully, their attitudes were great, their love for skating and each other was evident.

Taking the ice, this team began their routine, practiced literally 100's of times in preparation for this moment. All was going well, beautiful circles, spirals and complex formation changes; all executed precisely in tight blocks and circles........until......the unthinkable happened.......first one skater caught her blade and went down, two more following the first in what was one of the most horrific crashes this skating enthusiast has ever seen.

The arena seemed to slow down Matrix-like as the skaters one by one...........got back up and rejoined the formation as if nothing had ever happened. I discovered later on that one of the fallen had said to the others, "C'mon, let's finish this thing!"

As the team became one skater once again, the entire arena cheered and applauded for them, they knew as well that the crash was unlike any other - indeed an official later told the coach that as she was about to blow the whistle to stop the music, she saw that they were getting back up to keep going. Unheard of. Unimaginable.

Bleeding and in pain, this team became one again and finished their routine, not only finishing, but finishing FLAWLESSLY. In an amazing test of will and courage, this team of young girls became for this disillusioned sports enthusiast a new example of sports heroism.

They proved that team is more important than self; falling down is not failure and finishing well in the face of terrible odds makes you the ultimate winner. This is what being a sports hero should be. Not the accolades or celebrity or money of it all, but being the team that sticks together and finishes well.

I am proud to reveal to you that this team I'm writing about is my daughter's team. They finished dead last that day, but for that day, they were the true winners at that arena. After the EMT's had carried two of our skaters to the hospital, one needing stitches in her face, the other with a back injury; the rest of the team had to walk across the arena to get back to the locker room to retrieve their equipment and change. As they crossed the arena, the entire audience stood for them, including the judges and officials, acknowledging their courage. That's a moment they should carry with them the rest of their lives and one that I will remember always.

I've included a few pictures of the team, one on the ice and others at our home rink afterward. At their first practice back, I made them each a "Tough Cookie" award and told them how proud I was to be one of their team moms.

Today, as many of you read this, the team is competing in their last competition this season in Hershey, PA. They, as they should, are wanting that Gold medal. But they understand now where the true gold really is - Finishing Well.

Go National Blades!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!


I hope you are getting to spend the day today with the ones you love! I am with Mark and Emma in Hershey, PA - home of Chocolate! What better place to spend the day? Emma has a synchro skating competition here tomorrow so we just HAD to come to Hershey. Awful, isn't it?! LOL!


The card I've posted today is one that I made for a swap I was in earlier this month using the Love You Much stamp set. It's a little bit different for a valentine because of the colors, but I don't always like to do things the "expected" way. That's the fun of stamping - doing the unexpected - the serendipity of a fortunate, sometimes accidental discovery.


For my card, I took my color palette from some Designer Series Paper called Bella Birds. It's part of Shelli's Signature collection in the new Idea Book and Catalog. We got to play with some of this gorgeous paper at Founder's Circle back in September and I've loved the colors together ever since.


The card base is done with Bordering Blue and layered with Chocolate Chip. The stamped background layer is Whisper White and I've stamped the large heart image from the stamp set all over it in Basic Brown ink. Each heart was then watercolored in with Blender Pens and refill inks in Bordering Blue and Pink Pirouette.


Next, I cut a Top Note in Pink Pirouette with my Big Shot Die Cut machine and used 1/2 of it on the left side of the card. Wrapped around it is the layered ribbon of Chocolate Chip Stitched Grosgrain and Pink Pirouette Striped Grosgrain. I trimmed the ends in a flag with my Craft and Paper Scissors (known in my house as the RIBBON scissors!).


The large heart image was stamped again with Basic Brown ink on Whisper White and colored the same, but then trimmed out with my Paper Snips (for paper only, not Ribbon!). And of course, it's not complete without some bling, so Dazzling Diamonds Glitter was added to the edge of this heart with my 2 Way Glue Pen. Popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals, it rests above the ribbon layers.


This card is completed by stamping the greeting in Basic Brown, punching it out with my Word Window punch and sponging it with Bordering Blue ink. The little heart accent is punched out of Pink Pirouette cardstock with my Heart to Heart punch. A 1/2 dimensional on the back pops it up and makes it stand out!


Thanks for checking in today! I love you guys and I love to hear from you! Now, go eat some chocolate! I'll be back tomorrow with another post - I'll warn you - it's Soapbox Sunday for Robin. I have something on my mind I want to share and a creative idea to go along with it too!

xo,

Robin

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #86 - Valentine's Day Project #1


Ok, forget the fact that today is Friday the 13th! yukk! Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! AACK! I have NOT finished my cards and gifts for my family - I know - a little behind the 8 ball wouldn't you say?! But, I HAD to post today for the Blogger's Challenge or our challenge mom, Lisa would beat me up. Well, maybe not, but she does make it hard to resist! XO, Lisa! :)

I actually made two projects for the challenge - ambitious, eh? They are in two separate posts because I'm having trouble with Google Blogger and my photos! Hummph!

This first one was one of the projects we did at my FREE class for my stampers who purchased the Valentine's Bundle Special last month! Hi guys! I used my sample as a gift for a friend the other day - that's a great benefit to being a stamper - we either have something on hand to give away or can whip it up real quickly! AND it's better than storebought cuz it comes from the HEART!

This little vellum cardstock box is a 2, 4, 6, 8 Box. I stamped it in Riding Hood Red with the multi-hearts from the Love You Much stamp set. The tag used multiple Stampin' Up! punches and the same stamp set and is attached to the box with a piece of that luscious Riding Hood Red taffeta ribbon! Yumm! Oh, and of course, there is chocolate inside!

Read on to the next post to see the other fun project I came up with!

Blogger's Challenge #86 - Valentine's Day Project #2



Have I ever told you what a great Mother-in-Law I have? Well, my Mom is great too, but my MIL Betty works for a company that takes catalog orders for several different companies like American Eagle and Restoration Hardware. At Christmas this year, American Eagle (AE) used these cool red gift boxes for their orders of gift cards that were mailed out. They had tons of them left over and my MIL thought I could make something out of them so she snagged me a couple dozen! Thanks Mom!


The first photo shows the unaltered box. It's so cool because it already had grommets in the side for the ribbon ties, all I had to do was replace their ribbon with Stampin' Up!'s gorgeous Pink Pirouette Striped Grosgrain ribbon!

To create the lid, I trimmed a piece of Pink Pirouette cardstock to fit the top, covering the silver printing. Then I ran it thru my Big Shot Die Cut machine with the NEW, WAAAY Cool Texturz Plates! These are incredible - I Love the dimension they provide. For this box, I used the small polka dot because it matched the Candy Lane Designer Series Paper that is on the inside of the box. Once it was texturized, I sponged the bumps with Pretty in Pink ink then covered the whole thing with Versamark and Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder to give it the fun, sparkly finish! It was attached to the lid with Sticky Strip.


The little tag was created with my Pun Fun stamp set. I stamped in Basic Brown ink on Whisper White cardstock because I was watercoloring with my Aqua Painters. (Basic Brown is waterproof and won't run into your color) I painted in the cup with Chocolate Chip and Riding Hood Red ink and added Crystal Effects to the coffee and the hearts for some fun dimension. This piece was then layered onto Riding Hood Red and Pink Pirouette with the Pink being sponged with Riding Hood Red. A Silver Eyelet set thru the top with my Crop-A-Dile allowed me to easily thread some Pretty in Pink Taffeta ribbon thru the tag to tie it to the top of the box.

The inside of the box was so easy to make. I used their gift card insert as a pattern and cut my own using a piece of cardboard from some Designer Series Paper. After scoring it in the right places, I used some Tombow Adhesive to glue down a piece of Candy Lane Designer Series Paper. This glue works so, so well. There is a bit of a learning curve on using just the right amount, but once you have used it, you'll LOVE it!


The dsp was stamped in Riding Hood Red with the Valentine sentiment from the Holidays and Wishes stamp set and this was overstamped with one of the hearts from the Love You Much stamp set. I didn't cut any slots for the gift card becasuse a couple of Mini-Glue Dots willwork great to hold it in place!


All in all, this was a pretty easy project to create - I hope you like it! If you are really, really nice to me, maybe I'll adapt it for a Birthday Class that I'm planning for this spring. Would you like that? Ok, send me chocolate if you want to do that! NO, just kidding! Leave me a comment instead! That is less fattening and makes me smile just as much!


While you are at it, be sure to check out all the other great Valentines ideas from my Blogger's Challenge friends! Click on the link in my sidebar to find them!


I'll be posting again tomorrow and Sunday, we are travelling for a skating competition, but I've got some posts planned ahead!

Happy Valentine's Day my friends!

XOXO ~~Robin



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Butterflies are in the Air!


Ta Daa! Yep, I finished the swap cards AND managed to get them all in the mail before the post office closed yesterday! WooHoo! Now I can just sit back and check my mailbox for all the great return swaps that are coming my way - I love to swap!


This card really came together fast, I'm not always that lucky, but I knew I wanted to use the new Texturz plates for my Big Shot and the butterfly image from the Simple Friendship stamp set is one of my favorite new images this season. It just has endless possibilities.


I created the textured background by cutting my Whisper White cardstock and placing it on the Texturz plate, spritzing it with a little alcohol - yes, rubbing alcohol - you guys know I don't drink! LOL! The moisture allows the paper to emboss quite deeply and gives the texture a great feel. Using alcohol instead of water is great because it evaporates so quickly. Anyway, once it was embossed then I used my Creamy Caramel ink and Stampin' Sponge to rub the color all over the cardstock. Not evenly, but light in some places, dark in others. I really wanted it to look weathered. Once I finished sponging, I layered it on a piece of Cameo Coral cardstock and tied a piece of Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain ribbon in a knot around it. This was then layered on my Chocolate Chip card base which was cut at 3" x 12"and folded in half vertically. There is a 1/8" variance in each layer from the base for this card.


On to my sparkly butterfly! These turned out so much better than I'd planned - I just wish the photo really gave it justice! I used the Rock and Roll technique for this one, stamping first in Cameo Coral ink, then rolling it in Rose Red, then finally just tipping it in Close to Cocoa. Each butterfly was cut out with Paper Snips then I covered the whole piece with Versamark ink. A little sprinkle of Iridescent Ice EP and heating with my Heat Tool - Voila! Sparkly Butterfly!


To create the curved wings, I simply used the edge of my Bone Folder and curled the wings just like you would curl ribbon between your thumb and a scissors. But gently though - one of my butterflies lost a wing tip! Oops! A little Crystal Effects glued it back though - yes, you can fix most anything!


The final touch was just using Mini Glue Dots on the butterfly body and attaching it to the large silk flower from the Pretties Kit. I left it au natural so it would stand out from the background a bit. The flower was then attached to the card front with more glue dots.


It's a pretty simple card, really, but I don't want to cut out 16 butterflies again for a while! LOL! Let me know what you think - I love to hear from you! Your comments make me smile!


Happy Wednesday!

~~Robin

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sparkly Butterflies!


This picture is the reason I'm not making a lengthy post today - just look at all the pieces for these cards! This swap is supposed to go in the mail today along with another card using a Sale-A-Bration stamp set. That card is done, but this one..........well, I'm getting there! I'll show you the finished one tomorrow, promise! :)


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

~~Robin

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Candy Garden


Oh, if only chocolate candy grew on trees! Yes, I know that chocolate comes from beans, but wouldn't it be lovely if there was a tree we could plant in the backyard next to the money tree that grew Godiva and Hershey? Maybe next to my mansion in Heaven.......... a girl can dream, right? LOL


Well, since that candy tree is never going to happen, I made this cute little flower garden and filled the glass pots with Valentine's Tootsie Rolls. Both of my party hostesses this weekend recieved one of these and I'm making them for Emma's teachers for Valentine's Day too.


The flower is a re-do of my original post here. I just took some of that yummy new Raspberry Tart paper and chose my color scheme from there, adding Kiwi Kiss for a contrast. The cardstock for the flower is Cameo Coral, sponged in Rose Red; Rose Red sponged in Whisper White Craft and the Kiwi Kiss is the flower "center" on top of a piece of Raspberry Tart. The pearl center from the Pretties Kit is on top of a piece of Rose Red punched with the 1/2" Circle Punch. I attached a bamboo skewer with Sticky Strip between the Cameo Coral layer and the Rose Red layer. The "leaves" are done with pieces of Kiwi Kiss Satin Ribbon.


The basket that is holding the little glass candy pot was created with the Baskets and Blooms Die and my Big Shot Die Cutter. I laid a 1/2 sheet of Whisper White cardstock on the die and rolled it through, cutting both pieces of the basket at once! So easy! The flowers are stamped with the Garden Greetings stamp set (our FREE stamp set from Manager's Reception at Leadership - I LOVE Stampin' Up!). I used Rose Red, Kiwi Kiss and Cameo Coral to match the cardstock and paper in the flowers. The two pieces were adhered with Sticky Strip and I attached the bottom of the flower skewer to the inside. The little glass pot slipped down inside and a few Tootsie Rolls later the candy garden was blooming!


My hostesses loved their flowers and candy - I hope you do too!


Don't forget, you can order all the supplies I used to make this project from my website www.robinstamps4u.stampinup.net Just click the "Shop Now" button on the upper right corner. Place an order from my website and you will get a FREE Idea Book/Catalog as well as a FREE Sale-A-Bration reward when you spend $50. If the Big Shot is on your list - now is a great time to get it because of all the "extras" you receive during Sale-A-Bration!


Happy Monday, everyone! Go plant your garden!

~~Robin

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blogger's Challenge #85 - Sketch Challenge



Hey everybody! I hope you all have had a good week - mine has been very busy, but I managed to make time to do this fun sketch challenge!


Our Blogger's Challenge mom, Lisa Somerville, gave us all this sketch to work from. We could create any card with it and I even went a step further and turned the sketch on it's side for my card.


I started with a Scallop Circle cut with my Big Shot Scallop Circles #2 die in Whisper White. I sponged the edges with Riding Hood Red and stamped the multi-heart image from the Love You Much stamp set in Basic Brown all over it. I colored in the large hearts with the Blender Pen and Riding Hood Red ink then stamped the images again in Riding Hood Red on Pink Pirouette. I used the Heart to Heart punch to punch them out and layered the medium and small ones over the brown stamped images on the card. Then I added a bit of 2-way Glue and sprinkled on some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter for some bling.


The card base is a 6 x 6 square of Close to Cocoa cardstock folded to make a 3" x 6" card. This size fits great in the Small Open End Envelopes. I then used my Jumbo Whimsy Wheel across the bottom of the card front in Chocolate Chip ink to create the fun background.


To add the ribbon accent, I used my Horizontal Slot punch and punched a small slit in the top fold of the card, allowing the ribbon to slide through and adhere underneath the birds in the frame. I used the Riding Hood Red Striped Grosgrain for that.


My little birds are also from the Love You Much stamp set and are stamped in Basic Brown then watercolored in with Blender Pens and Pink Pirouettte and Riding Hood Red inks. I attached the image to the back of a piece of Silver Hodgepodge Hardware with Mini Glue Dots. This was then adhered to a piece of Pink Pirouette cardstock punched out with the Curly Label punch. This whole embellishment covers the seam in the ribbon so the ribbon looks finished on the inside of the card.


I hope you enjoy looking at my creation as much as I enjoyed making it! I think it's very fun - I can't wait to give it away for Valentine's Day! Be sure to check out all the other Blogger's Challenge players by clicking on the link in my sidebar. You are sure to be inspired!


Don't forget, you can purchase all the products I used to create this card by shopping on my website 24/7 at www.robinstamps4u.stampinup.net Just click the Shop Now button at the top right corner! Now, while supplies last, Stampin' Up! is giving a FREE Idea Book for all online orders placed through my website. AND Sale-A-Bration is here! With every $50 order, you receive a FREE stamp set, designer series paper or Ribbon Bundle from the LIMITED EDITION Sale-A-Bration brochure! Don't miss these great specials!


Happy Friday!

~~Robin

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sweet Valentine Box


Happy Tuesday everyone!

I'm back from Emma's competition in NJ and getting back to work finally. Today's post is a fun project we did for my Love is in the Air Valentine's class. It's super cute and very fun to make.

The box is two Scalloped Envelopes cut with the Big Shot in Close to Cocoa cardstock. They are attached with Sticky Strip with a long piece of matching cardstock that wraps around the sides and bottom. It's just the perfect size for holding four little Love Note cards and envelopes!

We decorated the box with a strip of Designer Series Paper from the Riding Hood Red patterns. The front box flap is folded down and fastened with Sticky Strip. We then embellished it with a circle punched with the 1 3/4" Circle Punch in Pink Pirouette, a Close to Cocoa tag layered with the valentine greeting on Whisper White. It's stamped with Riding Hood Red and colored in with the Blender Pens and Pink Pirouette ink. This cute tag stamp is from Happy Heart Day stamp set and both tag layers were punched with the two Tag Punches. The Riding Hood Red heart comes from the Best Wishes and More stamp set and was stamped on Whisper White cardstock then trimmed out with the Paper Snips. It's mounted on Stampin' Dimensionals and adhered on top.

The cute little love note cards are 3 x 3 and are done with Riding Hood Red, Pink Pirouette and Whisper White. The lovebirds, from the Love You Much stamp set, are stamped in Basic Brown then colored in with the Blender Pen and Pink Pirouette ink. The heart part of the stamp is covered with a Riding Hood Red heart punched with the new Heart to Heart punch. The greeting from Best Wishes and More, is stamped along the bottom in Riding Hood Red.
For a final touch, the envelopes are stamped with the birds in the lower left corner in Basic Brown ink.

This is a great project - very easy to do and would make a great gift for any loved one for Valentine's Day!
All the supplies to make this project and much more can be found on my website at www.robinstamps4u.stampinup.net. You can go there to shop anytime, 24/7. Just click on the "Shop Now" button at the top right of the home page.

Sale-A-Bration is now in full swing and that means with every $50 you spend in merchandise purchases, you get FREE Stamps, Designer Series Paper or Ribbon! If you are ordering online, be sure to look for the special button before you submit your order. Or just contact me and I can place the order for you, no problem!

Happy stamping!
~~Robin